Piloting a method to evaluate the implementation of integrated water resource management in the Inkomati River Basin
This paper provides an assessment of the implementation of principles of integrated water resource management (IWRM) in the Inkomati River Basin (IRB), shared by South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. A methodology with a set of principles, change areas and measures was developed as a performance assessment tool. The tool was piloted in the IRB and results from the application were used to refine and finalise the tool. Piloting of the tool did provide very useful insights into IWRM implementation in the IRB and highlighted gaps where future attention needs to focus. Good progress has been realised with respect to creating the enabling environment and institutional frameworks as the key principles of IWRM have been successfully articulated in policy and legislation and a relatively satisfactory degree of stakeholder participation achieved. Measures related to the IWRM implementation instruments seem to be the least developed, particularly the financial enabling environment and institutional capacity building change areas. More attention also needs to be paid to conflict resolution mechanisms. The results from the pilot also showed that countries should consider a phased approach to assessment of IWRM, as implementation does seem to follow a process of creating the enabling environment, followed by formulating and implementing the institutional framework and creation and application of IWRM management instruments.
Keywords: Integrated water resource management, Inkomati River Basin, South Africa, Swaziland